To Be Determined – Giving Thanks

Our readers in the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving this week, and our Canadian readers already did last month. While there’s no parallel holiday in Israel, it became a habit for me to use any holiday season as a reason to be positive and highlight the things I like in wrestling. So here are the things that I’m grateful for this holiday season. Some of them may seem familiar from previous columns, but this is only a testament for WWE’s relative consistency in its recent booking.

I’m grateful for The Miz. Last year I thought that 2009 was his breakout year, but in 2010 he went full speed ahead and grabbed every opportunity that he got with both hands. His biggest break came on NXT and with the help of Daniel Bryan Danielson and Michael Cole of all people, he became the biggest star on that show and the greatest heel (After Chris Jericho) in the entire WWE in 2010. Now he carries around the MITB briefcase and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before he becomes WWE champion, hopefully in WrestleMania 27.

I’m grateful for new faces being pushed in WWE. While technically Sheamus isn’t really a new face in WWE since he made his break in 2009 when he won the championship, he did not connect with the fans and became a regular main event fixture until 2010. Bryan Danielson has had a stellar career before 2010 but he made a leap forward as Daniel Bryan, both before and after his forced unjustified hiatus. Kaval had his first WWE pay per view match this weekend. Alberto Del Rio is a fast rising star on Smackdown. For the first time in many years it looks like WWE is serious about pushing new talent and it’s working.

I’m grateful for Nexus. How can I talk about new faces and not mention Nexus. Sure, it’s not as hot today as it was during its first weeks, but all in all, it’s one of the best storylines in recent years in WWE and arguably one of the most innovative and revolutionary concepts in WWE history – a bunch nobodies becoming the hottest thing within 10 minutes. It turned Wade Barrett from an unknown newcomer to a legitimate title contender. It got several wrestlers that the audience wouldn’t have cared about to a dominant heel stable. It made the crowd rally behind John Cena for the first time in years, and made the possibility of a Cena heel turn real for the first time. When you look the word synergy in the dictionary, it should have a picture of Nexus next to the definition.

I’m grateful for six months without Triple H. Don’t get me wrong, I like him and he probably has a spot on my top 10 wrestlers of all time. But without Triple H dominating so much of WWE’s TV time, there’s room for other wrestlers to shine. Suddenly Randy Orton is the top face in WWE. I know there are those who say that Cena is taking up as much time as Triple H or even more, but I will refer those people to the last paragraph. Without John Cena the Nexus angle wouldn’t have been as successful as it has been. Can you imagine Triple H in Cena’s role? It wouldn’t have worked. But back to Triple H. When he went out to heal, he did so in style and finally turned Sheamus into a real threat. He did the right thing because deep down Triple H is a true wrestler and he cares about WWE. And I’m certain that when comes back, it will not be to squash Sheamus and send him back to the midcard. Yes, I’m that naïve. I’m also grateful for every time that Undertaker takes time off (Not that I wish him harm), but unlike Triple H, I’m not looking forward to his return.

I’m grateful for Vince McMahon doing the right things. It’s not often that Vince McMahon does the right thing, but when he does, he does it well. This year we have seen it at least twice. The first was the sendoff that HBK received. Vince appreciated everything that Shawn Michaels did for him over the years and just like with Ric Flair in WrestleMania 24 and the following Raw, HBK got a hero’s sendoff on the weekend of WrestleMania 26. And unlike Flair, I can bet that HBK will appreciate it and will not go down to Orlando any time soon. Vince also did the right thing with Bret Hart this year, welcoming him back to WWE and letting him have closure at WrestleMania 26. And then there’s Chris Jericho. He’s just taking some time off to tour with Fozzy, but as Y2J said, they have an understanding. Vince knows that every moment that Jericho is with WWE is golden, so he lets him go away from time to time, knowing he’ll come back re-energized and will remain loyal.

I’m thankful for AJ Styles, Kazarian, Beer Money, Motor City Machineguns, The Pope, Matt Morgan, Generation Me, Jay Lethal, Kurt Angle, Desmond Wolfe and Samoa Joe. Those names are the reason to continue watching TNA despite all the wrestlecrap and disappointments.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, enjoy the holiday season.

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